Lenny Lenn on Twitter, making bold statements and continually having to prove himself
One moment he's speaking in a quiet, humble tone about his technical training in post-production, for instance, and the next he's comparing himself to Andre 3000 with no shame and enough confidence to charge a bull.
When discussing hip-hop in Denver, he quickly categorizes a young cat like Turner Jackson as one of the hottest underground rap acts, and firmly gives up-and-comer Pries "mainstream" status.
With a history rooted in promotions, television, radio, film and post-production, Lenny Lenn is a versatile figure who considers himself a voice of reason in the Colorado hip-hop scene. He's been involved in a number of projects, from Dispensary Music to Mr. Midas's new album, Son of the Crack Era, and often is the exclusive ear of some of the hottest projects to hit the streets.
Smartly, Lenny Lenn knows the line between arrogance and confidence, and he toes it finely. We caught up with the overachieving multi-tasker, and he held held nothing back on topics such as beef in hip-hop, the genius of Wacka Flacka, and why Lenny Lenn does as he damn well pleases.
One thing you're prone to doing is making these bold, controversial statements by pitting artists like KRS-1 and Soulja Boy against each other, drawing distinctions that have never existed before. Do your thoughts need justifying?
Absolutely not. I'm just expressing my opinion. I don't need to justify or explain myself. If folks would like to debate me on anything I've ever said, I have no problem with it as long as it's an intelligent conversation and not based off of emotional feelings.
You have such an extensive history within Colorado hip-hop. Why does it feel like you've constantly had to prove yourself?
Because folks always doubt you, like, Why does he get this project?, or Folks only fuck with him cause he's on the radio, or He talks so much shit, can he back it all up? But I have no problem proving myself time and time again, even though I feel my track record speaks for itself.
What are the many hats that you wear?
Rap, produce, I direct, edit, graphic and whatever else needs to be done to make whatever project I'm working on to be as good as it gets. If that means going to get somebody food or going to the liquor store or picking up blank CDs, I do all of it. I can pretty much do anything, because that's what I would want somebody who's working with me to do.
Is this an approach you've etched out along the way, or a style you've adopted that works on each project?
Every single one since the first project that we recorded -- it was called Kin: a Family Affair -- we recorded and we made the beats, we mixed, we mastered and did our own graphics, pressed up CDs and hit the streets. It's pretty much been like that since day one. If I see something that needs to get done, then I do it.
What it is about your brand that works as an advantage for you?
It's kind of an advantage, but it's a disadvantage, too. I think a lot of people think that because I do so much, I'm unapproachable, or because I talk a lot of stuff and because I have a cocky, arrogant attitude that I can't work with people. Anyone who has ever reached out to me knows where I'm really at, but I know that I'm good at what I do. I know this, so why wouldn't I have that confidence in myself? I wouldn't talk stuff if I couldn't back it up. When I don't know something, I try to listen and observe and learn what I can. When you don't hear me talking, I'm learning and listening. But when I know something, I'm on.